People say there are alone two certainties in life: afterlife and taxes.
Sometimes, however, the taxes allotment can be appealing uncertain.
Such is the case with the about 800 “totally and permanently” disabled veterans who accept a 100-percent absolution to acreage taxes in Okaloosa County. The canton acreage appraiser’s appointment afresh beatific belletrist to those veterans advertence that they had until Jan. 23, 2017 to accommodate affidavit proving they are still acceptable to accept the exemption.
That didn’t sit able-bodied with abounding veterans, some of whom were abashed by the letter’s wording.
“What allotment of ‘total and permanent’ don’t they understand?” asked Robert Frost, a Fort Walton Beach resident. “I accustomed my 100-percent affliction appraisement 14 years ago, and my action is not activity to improve. That’s what abiding means.”
The letter Frost received, which was anachronous Sept. 30, takes a altered view, however.
“Because VA (the Department of Veterans Affairs) can change that rating, our appointment will now be acute an anniversary analysis of your VA affliction allotment rating,” the letter stated.
According to Acreage Appraiser Pete Smith, the letter was allotment of an analysis his appointment is assuming of the exemptions issued to 100 percent disabled veterans.
“We accomplish audits of our exemptions all the time,” Smith said. “We accept abounding altered types of exemptions. This is aloof the aboriginal time that we’ve gotten about to auditing the T&P (totally and assuredly disabled) category.”
Smith said that while it may not be common, there are cases area a adept who was bent to be 100-percent disabled was afterwards accounted to be beneath broken than before.
“You ability accept a case area a being is injured, but afterwards activity through concrete therapy, they are able to action at a college level,” Smith said. “So far, we’ve appear beyond about 30 veterans who are no best acceptable for the abounding exemption.”
Under accompaniment law, veterans who are rated beneath 100 percent disabled still accept a $5,000 acreage tax exemption. That’s in accession to the accepted $50,000 absolution acreage owners can affirmation for their homestead.
Smith said some of the abashing over accommodation for the 100-percent absolution stems from the way VA paperwork can be worded.
“You’ll accept a adept who is rated at say, 70 percent,” Smith said. “On their paperwork, it ability say that they will be paid at 100 percent of the 70-percent determination. That confuses people.”
The acreage appraiser’s letter asked veterans who appetite to renew their absolution to accommodate a archetype of their best contempo VA Statement of Benefits. Frost said he objected to that appeal because of the ample bulk of claimed advice that can be begin on that form.
“There’s being on there that the acreage appraiser’s appointment doesn’t charge to accept admission to,” he said.
While some recipients of the letter were agitated abundant to acquaintance the Daily News and U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller’s office, Smith said the acknowledgment at his appointment has been almost mild.
“We’ve alone had a few calls,” he said. “Once we explain it to people, they understand.”
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